11/01/2004 1:00AM

Ninebanks claims Pacifica Handicap


SAN MATEO, Calif. - Course specialist Ninebanks ($4.80) won his sixth stakes race over the Longden Turf Course, capturing the $69,475 at Bay Meadows on Sunday.

The 6-year-old gelding, 8-for-17 in his career on the Longden Turf Course, was able to get over to the rail down the backstretch for a ground-saving trip after breaking from the No. 8 post in the field of nine. He stayed on the rail and outfinished True Dancer, who swung four wide on the second turn, as both overhauled pacesetting Motel Staff in the lane.

Ninebanks covered 1 1/16 miles on the yielding course in 1:44.35, finishing three-quarters of a length in front of True Dancer with Motel Staff another neck back. True Dancer was disqualified to seventh for taking the path of Court's in Session causing that one to clip heels near the quarter pole. Gold Ruckus was moved up to third because of the DQ.

"I think the class showed," winning jockey Ron Warren said. "The turf was yielding, but the footing was good. He likes a softer turf."

Winning trainer Jerry Hollendorfer said, "We've tried to be careful because the horse has his problems. He's a very game horse."

Ninebanks, a multiple graded-stakes winner, earned $40,225 for his 12th victory in 39 starts, lifting his career total to $757,243.